Walking routes, are some of the most important hiking routes in the archipelago of Madeira.
On wheels, bike, all-terrain bike or 4, inside the obstacles of Madeira, are unforgettable adventures. Or just in order to discover the treasures hidden in Madeira, it takes just a GPS or a Smartphone to geocaching in Madeira. As for athletes who wish to run and looking for a close contact with the Madeiran nature, between tracks and mountain paths, with irregular and varied floor. An activity that is gaining prominence is the canyoning, with a technique that involves climbing, jumping, abseiling and swimming, a challenge that is exploring a river and overcome their obstacles. And for those who seek a quieter visit, a city sightseeing trip is ideal, on a bus that allows you to observe the panoramic landscape of 360º.
Vereda do Areeiro
Connects the two highest peaks on Madeira, Pico Ruivo with 1816 meters of altitude, and Pico do Areeiro 1817 meters of altitude, in a way that passes between tunnels with steep and beautiful slopes of the Massif Central Mountainous landscapes, which is integrated in Natura 2000. This route starts at the Pousada Pico do Areeiro, very close to the Manta Nest gazebo, a place where the bird of prey, buzzards (Buteo buteo), used to nest and endemic species Zino’s Petrel (Pterodroma madeira) nests, is considered the most endangered seabird of Europe. From this vantage point we see the valley of Fajã da Nogueira, São Roque do Faial and a large part of the Cordillera Central Hilly. The party considers most difficult is the final climb to reach the Pico Ruivo Shelter, through caves dug in the volcanic tuff where the shepherds and cattle took refuge. Along the route are subject to several species of birds, on which stand the Canary (Serinus canaria), the Berthelot’s Pipit (Anthus berthelotti madeirensis), the Swallow-da-serra (unicolor Apus) and other subspecies restricted to Madeira Sparrow-the-earth (Petronia petronia madeirensis), chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs madeirensis) and firecrest (Regulus ignicapillus madeirensis); and sighted predominant flora is Heather Wood (Erica madeirensis), Violet Wood (Viola paradoxa), Orchid rocks (Orchis scopolorum) and Antilídea (Anthyllis lemanniana). The end of the route is reached in the House of Pico Ruivo Shelter, where one can take a path with access to Achada do Teixeira, offering continuity and yet this place is present training on basaltic rock, known as “man standing “.
- Extension – 7 km
- Average time – 3h30
Vereda da Ilha
Starts in Pico Ruivo Shelter and ends in the parish of the island, down about 1376 meters. In Vale da Lapa goes up above the tunnel to find the Levada’s Green Cauldron, can explore the Queimadas Forest Park. This trail crosses through two types of ecosystems, integrated in the Natura 2000 network, the Central Mountainous Massif and the Laurisilva Forest. The Mountain Massif Central contains peaks that can reach 1200 meters and its herbaceous and shrubby vegetation are adapted to different temperature variations, heavy rains and strong winds, some centenarians vegetables highlighted is the heather brooms (Erica platycodon subsp. Maderincola). Along the descent, one can see endemic forests of Madeira, as the Laurissilva Forest in fog area, between 1200 and 400 meters, the forest is an importance to the waters that accumulate in their leaves, so reach soil, recharges, the springs and streams. This may be seen regularly the firecrest (Regulus ignicapus madeirensis), one of the smallest birds of Madeira, the chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs) approaching hikers and trocaz Pigeon (Columba trocaz trocaz). Without any difficulty you arrive at the site of the island, where his parish stood since 1989, belonging to the municipality of Santana. Its name came from a small area, Jorge Pinto who called him “primogeniture Island.”
- Extension – 8,2 km
- Average time – 3h
Vereda do Pico Ruivo
This path leads to the highest summit of Madeira, Pico Ruivo, rising along the “loin”, which you separate the cliffs of Faial and Santana, this goes to the Achada do Teixeira. This rise are found several shelters due to climate change. This integrated area in Natura 2000, on your left may be seen a landscape of the valley of the Ribeira Seca Network, topped by Pico das Torres, and the background the Pico do Areeiro, and right to see if the “gables” saw Santana, where you can watch the Queimadas Forest Park and Achada do Marques, a small hamlet known for haystacks and farmland, which appears in the middle of the valley of the Ribeira dos Arcos. As for the interior, it is the valley of Ribeira Grande, which gives access to the Green Cauldron and Hell Cauldron. In the days of good visibility, you can see for this, the rock formation of Penha D’Águia, Sierra of Funduras and the Ponta de S. Lourenço. The Pico Ruivo Shelter contains three other paths that lead to different points of the island, the Vereda do Areeiro Peak, the Vereda da Encumeada and Vereda Island.
- Extension – 2,8 km
- Average time – 1h30
Vereda da Encumeada
Near the Red Peak, this trail has towards the west of the central mountain range, to Encumeada that can be appreciated volcanic escarpment, involved the Laurel, which is on Natura 2000. Along this route, it moves-by volcanic escarpment of wood, characteristic of floors phyto superior weather at 1400 meters of altitude heath to the surrounding species of laurel forest as the Til (Ocotea foetens), Loureiro (Laurus novocanariensis), the puff pastry (Clethra arborea), the Sanguinho (Rhamnus glandulosa ), the (Echium candicans), the Orchid (Dactylorhiza foliosa) and Mandon (Argyranthemum pinnatifidum). Also several in rocks can be found, such as the Furna da Lapa Bitch, where the men were forced to go to do the cutting Heathers for pilings, wood or charcoal production. Arriving at Encumeada, the feeling of being in the center of the island starts to rise, as is possible, from this, see the whole island in a panoramic landscape, on which stand the valleys of Curral das Freiras, landscapes South (Serra D ‘Água) as the valley of São Vicente to the north.
- Extension – 11,2 km
- Average time – 6h
Vereda do Urzal
Starting in Faja dos Cardos, the Nun’s Valley, this trail follows an old road that connects the south coast and the north coast of the island of Madeira to Boaventura. This path is made to rise to the mouth of Torrinhas, here you can find a link to the route of Vereda da Encumeada. Mouth of Torrinhas you can see the contrast between the tops of the peaks surrounding the Nun’s Valley, which highlights the Pico Ruivo and see the panoramic valley of Curral das Freiras. Then descends until the Sirloin Urzal, in the village of Bonaventure. This route allowed to monitor the vegetation of the Laurissilva which was classified as a World Natural Heritage Site by UNESCO in December 1999.
- Extension – 10,6 km
- Average time – 4h30
Vereda Das Funduras
It starts at the Portela viewpoint, this has a view of the north coast of Madeira, which will traveling to the south to the mountains of Machico, through Penha d’Águia. This route ends at the site of Maroços. The trail follows the forest road saw the Funduras, going after him in the way the interior of laurel forest. Here, you can choose to follow the path to Larano the viewpoint, with a view over the bay of Machico. This trail left to follow the Laurel Forest, essential for rainwater retention, support this endemic is important for maintaining the sources of the municipality of Machico. This highlights the laurel (Laurus novocanariensis), the tilde (Ocotea foetens), the Vinhático (Persea indica) and less frequent the Barbusano (Apollonias barbujana), the puff pastry (Clethra arborea), the Holly (Ilex perado ssp. Perado) the White Pau (Picconia excelsa), the madeiran cheesewood (Pittosporum coriaceum), the other madeiran cheesewood (visnea mocanera) and Sanguinho (Rhamnus glandulosa). In the other side of the valley, may be seen the Santo da Serra, the peaks and Red Areeiro and the Deserted Islands. Reaching the core population of Maroços, which is crossed by traditional terraced poles that characterize the agricultural landscape of Madeira.
- Extension – 8,7 km
- Average time – 3h
Levada das 25 Fontes/Levada do Risco
This begins the descent to the Rabaçal, then continues along the brought to the waterfall and follow to Lagoa das 25 Fontes, to choose between two tracks, which lead to two parallel taken. These collect the water tributaries of Ribeira Grande and feed the hydroelectric power station of Calheta, to irrigate farmland. In the year 1835, it began the construction of the levada of the 25 Fontes, recognized as Levada Nova do Rabaçal and in 1855 ran for the first time water to agricultural fields in Calheta. At 1000m altitude, this trail goes along Levada do Risco, which leads to a drop of water, forming a ridge in the rock. Going down to the Lagoa das 25 Fontes, which is formed by the waters descending from Paul da Serra and legend has it that those who plunged never appear on the surface, having happened to an Englishman who wanted to break the superstition and was never found. Above 1000 meters, comes a plant community where the heath is predominant, such as species of mole Heather (Erica arborea), Heather broom (Erica platycodon subsp. Maderincola) and Vaccinium Padifolium saw (Vaccinium padifolium). Below this altitude, and following the Lagoa das 25 Fontes, it is the Laurissilva Forest, which hosts the Trocaz Pigeon (Columba trocaz trocaz), an endemic species of Madeira.
- Extension – 4,6 km
- Average time – 3h
Levada do Moinho
This runs the Levada Mill, a place that already existed many watermills, from Ribeira da Cruz, Porto Moniz, to the site of Tornadouro in Ponta do Pargo. This starts on the regional road ER 101, along the Ribeira da Cruz, which separates the municipality of Porto Moniz and Calheta. Climbing up the flow, following the opposite path to the water, reaches one of the springs that supplies this brought, then following to Junqueira, taken up the path in favor of water. The Big taken or Mill is known for its long path that was following by several water mills, on which stand currently, the ruins of the mill Achadas mill, Cancelas and Levada Grande mill. The flow was erected for people of usufruct, which watered the area of High Peak, covering Fajã do Nunes, much of the village, the mud Faja, Faja dos Barbusanos and Arrudal. This concludes the rail Tornadouro, in Junqueira, the place where the taken branches. According to tradition, on the site of the High Peak, there is a place in led called by Ring, which was used for two leprous women who lived and did not want to contaminate the water source, later this was tapped to irrigate the grounds of Pico Alto. In the mountains of Ponta do Pargo, Calheta, is a spring called the Mother of Waters, which the popular, this was the last to be taken advantage of. During the reconstruction carried the heréus the Levada Mill and heréus the Levada da Ponta do Pargo created problems in this construction. The Portimonenses carried with figs for lunch of all, and the Ponta do Pargo warned that the seeds of figs were poisonous, and as they separated the seeds, Portimonenses made a small levada interconnected Water Madre spring to Levada do Moinho.
- Extension – 10,3 km
- Average time – 3h30
Vereda da Ponta De São Lourenço
This aims to explore the St. Lawrence peninsula between the undulating path and landscapes on the edge of the cliffs, this runs through the Ponta de São Lourenço, who was named after the caravel of João Gonçalves Zarco, one of the island’s three discoverers of Wood. This peninsula is of volcanic origin, mostly basaltic and limestone formations, is accompanied by islander Barley, Half or wharfs, the islet of Ponta de S. Lourenço, the Lighthouse or out. This is classified as a nature reserve, and partially the Desembarcadouro islet is full natural reserve; all the land area and the adjacent sea to the north coast, to a depth of 50 meters, are integrated in Natura 2000. Its semi-arid climate, coupled with exposure to North winds have developed a underbrush, treeless, between 138 plant species, about 31 are endemic of Madeira. Here are one of the large colonies of Gulls (Larus cachinnans atlantis) in the region, nesting on the islet of Desembarcadouro. Along this trail is often the encounter with birds such as the Berthelot’s Pipit (Anthus bertheloti madeirensis), the goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis parva), the canary-the-earth (Serinus canaria canaria), the kestrel (Falco tinunculus). Also nest seabird protected like Shearwater (Calonectris diomedea), the Roque-de-castro (Oceanodroma castro), Bulwer’s Petrel (Bulweria bulwerii) and common-Tern (Sterna hirundo), and the only terrestrial reptile this island, the lizard (Lacerta dugesii). In the marine environment, there is the Fur Seal (Monachus monachus). At the end of this path, it is the home of the Sardine, the name of the old family owned, which gives support to watchers of the Natural Park Service of Madeira, responsible for watching over the area. On the horizon are the Deserted Islands and the islands of Porto Santo.
- Extension – 4 km
- Average time – 2h30